Let pictures tell the stories of your students’ families

You know the adage about a picture being worth a thousand words. Pictures are also invaluable in learning more about the families and cultures of your students. To promote two-way communication between home and school, create an assignment for students to draw or take pictures of things that are important to them in their home or neighborhood. In class, have students brainstorm about the kinds of things they might photograph or draw—family members, pets, and activities they enjoy. Once students bring their photographs or drawings to school, have them write (or dictate) a story about each picture. Students can then bring their stories and pictures home and invite parents and other family members to add to their pictures--letters, poems and other stories of family memories. Parents will be delighted to share information about their family with their child’s teacher. And teachers will learn about their students’ families and how they spend their free time. These insights can strengthen home-school relationships. Teachers will be better able to relate to their students and their families. Both teachers and families will see each other in new ways.

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